By: Jen Atwell, PRSA Orlando – DEI Committee
About the book:
Joan is a thirtysomething ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. The daughter of Chinese parents who came to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan is intensely devoted to her work, happily solitary, and successful. She does look up sometimes and wonder where her true roots lie: at the hospital, where her white coat makes her feel needed, or with her family, who try to shape her life by their own cultural and social expectations.
Deceptively spare yet quietly powerful, laced with sharp humor, Joan Is Okay touches on matters that feel deeply resonant: being Chinese-American right now; working in medicine at a high-stakes time; finding one’s voice within a dominant culture; being a woman in a male-dominated workplace; and staying independent within a tight-knit family. But above all, it’s a portrait of one remarkable woman so surprising that you can’t get her out of your head.
About the author:
Weike Wang is the author of CHEMISTRY (Knopf 2017) and JOAN IS OKAY (Random House 2022). She is the recipient of the 2018 Pen Hemingway, a Whiting award and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares and The New Yorker, among other publications. She is in the 2019 Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prizes. She earned her MFA from Boston University and her other degrees from Harvard. She currently lives in New York City and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Barnard College.
Source: Weike Wang’s website found here.
Resources and reviews on Joan is Okay:
- NPR: Book Review: ‘Joan Is Okay,’ explores the meaning of home, having roots
- The AV Club: “A woman stumbles through grief in the wry, affecting Joan is Okay”
Ways to support the AAPI community:
- “Asian Americans in Florida: Their Histories & Contributions to the Sunshine State” with Dr. Wenxian Zhang at the Orange County Regional History Center. Register for this free event on the History Center’s website.
- Attend one of this month’s many events celebrating the Asian and Pacific Islander community in Orange County, Florida. View the full list of events on their website, found here.
- Looking for something virtual? Visit the Google Arts & Culture site, “Asian Pacific American Cultures: Celebrate AAPI histories, communities, arts, and cultures in the U.S.”